Vancouver Fashion Week 2021: Five Designers We’re Watching
by Liz Black
Afew years ago, in 2018 to be exact, I was fortunate enough to attend Vancouver Fashion Week. After more than a decade of regularly attending New York Fashion Week, I must admit my expectations were lofty and incredulous all at once.
I had been spoiled by the iconicness of NYFW, and the few fashion shows I had attended elsewhere truly fell flat. So you can imagine my absolute sartorial surprise when I was blown away by the professional approach and quality of designers I experienced at VFW.
Vancouver Fashion Week
Photos: Vancouver Fashion Week
Although the global pandemic has halted in-person events, it’s thrilling that we won’t be missing out on witnessing wearable artwork, as Vancouver Fashion Week will be presenting digitally this season. And, even more exciting, the shows are available for all to watch live at Vanfashionweek.com and on all of their social media accounts. While you dream about which shows you’re going to virtually attend, read on for a sneak peek on which designers I’m most excited to see this season.
Have you ever recalled a memory and been left questioning if it had ever happened, or if it was something your brain had woven together from bits & pieces? Guerline Kamp takes inspiration from this concept of “Forgotten Memories” for her collection, playing on childlike moments revisited through the lens of adulthood. Sartorially sculptural with a blend of fabrics and iconic three-dimensional household objects, Kamp utilizes bold primary colors that stand out against pops of black and white for a collection that will totally satiate your inner child.
La Femme Roje by Rojan Hooshyar
Blending a narrative of her Iranian roots and modern Candian experience, Rojan Hooshyar’s La Femme Roje line is a reflection of who she is. Sustainably hand-crafted with a vegan focus, La Femme Roje pulls inspiration from Middle Eastern, Persian, and Arabic prints and textiles, transforming them into modern garments. Hooshyar’s Khatoon collection is inspired by silenced women; those who refuse to surrender any piece of their true selves to please anyone around them.
With echoes that are reminiscent of the current racial revolution, Pratt graduate Cornelia Borgerhoff’s thesis collection “Acceptance Letter” sartorially interplays her experience as a Black person raised in a white family. Preppy pops that wouldn’t look out of place at any Ivy League institution pair perfectly with inner city streetwear styling, melding an aesthetic that truly reflects the American melting pot.
Re-Wild Kids by Sasha Schaepe
With gender-reveal parties literally turning deadly, it’s encouraging to find a kid-focused brand that’s removed gender from the equation. Created as a response to the current climate crisis, Re-Wild Kids is sustainably hand-made, gender-neutral, and inspired by conscious social and environmental movements. Decorated with nature and educational-inspired prints, organic dyes, and made with zero-waste techniques, Re-Wild Kids also provides functional features that allow the garments to grow with the child, therefore increasing the longevity of each piece.
ISXNOT by Ismi Makise
If the pandemic did nothing else, it inspired feelings of wanderlust in so many of us, including Isxnot designer Ismi Makise. Their latest collection is inspired by the feeling of being restricted while looking towards the beauty of freedom, a parallel between the current Covid-19 crisis and a childhood experience of looking at the starry night sky through a hospital window. Sculptural shapes with vague medical-inspired nods cast in a primarily black and white palette, Makise views the gender-neutral collection as their Polaris, or North Star, to continue their journey.